100 years ago: 13-year-old boy drowns in Kansas River

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 1, 1915:

“John Weidman, 13 years old, son of Wm. E. Weidman, a laborer employed by Graeber brothers and living at 167 Lake street, was drowned in the Kaw below the Bowersock dam last night between 6 and 7 o’clock. He could not swim…. Weidman and his brother-in-law, Will Lee, were talking about buying a boat and yesterday afternoon about 5 o’clock went to the river to look at some that were for sale. After examining several of the craft young Weidman decided to try one of them. Lee warned him that it was dangerous to go on the river when the water was high, but the boy was not afraid and said that he would stay in the still water near the shore. Lee refused to go into the boat and said that he would wait on the bank. When the rainstorm came up a few minutes later he decided to go home and tried to get the boy to come with him. Weidman refused saying that he would come later. Lee then went home and when the boy did not return about two hours later he notified his parents and a search was started. The boat was found down stream, capsized and empty…. ‘I had forbidden his going on the river,’ said the sorrowful mother this morning, ‘and had warned him many times that it was dangerous to go out in a boat during high water. However, John was very strong-willed and was strong and confident that he could take care of himself.’…. Weidman was the first victim of the Kaw this season and his death fulfills the popular saying among the river folk that somebody must drown in the big stream every year.”

“When lightning can strike a gas pipe, melt it, and let the gas escape, without setting fire to anything, the property owner is lucky, says Prof. F. B. Dains of 1224 Louisiana street, yet that is exactly what happened at the professor’s residence night before last when the severe electrical storm struck Lawrence. Mr. Dains heard the gas escaping and sent for a plumber and had the leak repaired.”

“The executive committee of the Merchants & Farmers Association yesterday came to an agreement in regard to closing on the different holidays of the year and perfected a schedule which will be followed out in regard to closing. This will enable all clerks to take part in holiday celebrations and will insure the owner of a store that when he closes his business all his competitors will be closed also. While the resolution is not an absolute law it is understood that all the members of the association will live up to its provisions…. The grocers are already in line and have agreed upon closing hours for July 5. Since they constitute a larger group of retailers than any other business their action is significant.”

“The trial of L. W. Howell, a veterinary surgeon, charged with reckless automobile driving, was held in Police court this morning and resulted in a fine of $20 against the defendant including costs. The arrest was made at the complaint of Ed Salisbury, an employe of Irving Hill, who says that he was sitting in a cart which he was driving, and had stopped at the curb to talk with a friend, when Howell drove by in his car and ran into the cart, causing damages.”

“Golf playing at the Country Club has been carried on under somewhat of a handicap yesterday and the day before, on account of the condition of the weather. The first flight of the handicap tournament was to have been finished last night, but many of the contests were stopped by the rains.”